What now is the Extinction of the Suffering of Writing, oh mon chéri?
It is complete liberation from the craving to write and from an attachment to outcome for one’s writing in the immediate term and from attachment to outcome for one’s writing in the long-term.
But where might this craving be extinguished? Wherever in one’s experience there are delightful and pleasurable things associated with writing, there might this craving be extinguished. Wherever positive or productive, interesting or fascinating, praised or acclaimed experiences with one’s writing occur, there might the mindful writer practice relinquishing attachment to those positive, productive, interesting, fascinating, praised, or acclaimed sensations. It is the time of highest outer success—a book publication or prize, an article acceptance or a high grade—that presents strong opportunity for relinquishing craving. Let these experiences wash over one and observe the responses of one's mind but do not be carried away by their charm, do not attempt to repeat the circumstance and thereby resist the impermanence of the moment of zenith.
But where might this craving be also extinguished? Wherever in one’s experience there are painful and displeasing things associated with writing, there might this craving be extinguished. Wherever too negative or wordless, boring or worthless, criticized or condemned experience around one’s writing occur, there might the mindful writer practice relinquishing attachment to those negative, wordless, boring, worthless, criticized or condemned sensations. It is the time of lowest inner or outer success—a publisher’s rejection, a negative review, a burdensome and long request for a rewrite, a failing grade—that presents strong opportunity for relinquishing craving. Let these experiences wash over one and observe the responses of the mind but do not attempt to alter or eliminate them in order to avoid discomfort, boredom, frustration, despair, or anger.
Whosoever regards the pleasant and the unpleasant experiences of writing as equally impermanent will be free of craving.
Whosoever is altogether free of the craving for writing will never return to the suffering of writing and for the remainder of her writing days encounter an openness of possibility, writing sessions free of anxiety and turmoil, doubt and hubris. She will have whole areas of content and types of genre available for her work. She will approach her writing desk with curiosity and freshness and leave her writing desk bowing with gratitude and filled with connection with herself and with others. She will have the training to resist attachment to positive or negative developments in her writing activity, her primary task an allegiance to the present moment.
This verily is the peace of writing, the forsaking of preconception of genre, audience, and process. It is a condition of grace, of acceptance, of clear seeing.
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